PodCastle 62: The Fiddler of Bayou Teche

by Delia Sherman.
Read by Elizabeth Green Musselman.

One night, paddling far from home, I see lights that are not the pale feu follets that dance in the swamp at night. They are yellow lights, lantern lights, and they tell me I have come to a farm. I am a little afraid, for Tante Eulalie used to warn me about letting people see me.

“You know how ducks carry on when a strange bird land in their water?” she says. “The good people of Pierreville, they see that white hair and those pink eyes, and they peck at you till there’s nothing left but two-three white feathers.”

I do not want to be pecked, me, so I start to paddle away.

And then I hear the music.

I turn back with a sweep of my paddle and drift clear. I see a wharf and a cabin and an outhouse and a hog pen, and a big barn built on high ground away from the water. The barn doors are open, and they spill yellow light out over a pack of buggies and horses and even cars–only cars I’ve seen outside the magazines Ulysse sometimes brings. I don’t care about the cars, though, for I am caught by the fiddle music that spills out brighter than the lantern light, brighter than anything in the world since Tante Eulalie left it.

Rated PG. for tricksters and fiddle music.

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20 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Natasha said,

    July 23, 2009 @ 10:24 pm

    Great story! Really, though, I would listen with rapt attention to Elizabeth Green Musselman reading the digits of pi, the ingredients of Cheez Whiz, or all the “begats” of the Bible. Her narration is just magnificent.

  2. 2

    Melanie said,

    July 24, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

    Wow! I don’t usually comment on these stories, but this one was amazing. It had the delicious rhythm of a trickster tale with a really intriguing protagonist. For me, it was an ideal blend of the fresh and the familiar. And what a great listen! A perfect reading by Elizabeth Green Musselman.

  3. 3

    Devora said,

    July 25, 2009 @ 12:09 am

    This was an EXPERIENCE. I did not want to like this story at the beginning, but kept listening b/c it is such a fantastic reading. I had thought it would be too…cute. Was I blissfully wrong! By the time she was finishing the last dance I was enthralled. And I agree w/ others: EGM reads sooooo beautifully. WOW.

  4. 4

    BrainWyrms » Blog Archive » Podsuming in an age of fork said,

    July 27, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

    [...] PodCastle 62: The Fiddler of Bayou Teche [...]

  5. 5

    scatterbrain said,

    July 28, 2009 @ 3:35 pm


    What a load of boring, unoriginal hacky sludge. I’m more and more convinced that “Southern Gothic” is dead every day.

  6. 6

    Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) said,

    August 5, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

    Splendid story, read splendidly. I dunno what scatterbrain’s gripe is, I dug this one.

    I will say that I am giving you guys the benefit of the doubt that all the Cajunisms were pronounced properly. I have no idea, and I am too lazy to find out, so I am trusting you, the podcasters, to do right by us in that regard.

  7. 7

    Introducing Stackscene « Stackscene said,

    August 14, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

    [...] can’t wait!  If you want to get a taste of her words for free, check out Delia’s story “The Fiddler of Bayou Teche” at Podcastle.  I fell completely in love with this story almost from the beginning, and [...]

  8. 8

    Gwen said,

    August 17, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

    The story held my attention, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. The narration, however, was beautiful. I love Elizabeth’s voice. Please, more of her in the future!

  9. 9

    Book Review: The Fiddler of Bayou Teche on Ex Libris Bitsy said,

    October 12, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

    [...] is a podcast of this fairy tale on the website Podcastle that features a fantastic reader, Elizabeth Green Musselman, and I really [...]

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